Sen. Alting has introduced SB 436 which continues the trend of limiting the ability of a contractor or subcontractor to obtain a mechanic’s lien on owner-occupied residential property. Current law requires the contractor to provide the owner of the real estate with notice of the services provided and the existence of lien rights within 60 days of first providing services or labor that improves the real estate. This would shorten that time to 10 days.
And then I think there is a separate filing requirement to file a notice of mechanic’s lien with the recorder. It’s been awhile since I’ve done a mechanic’s lien case, but I think with non-residential properties, the contractor (or subcontractor) has more like 90 days and the clock doesn’t start running until the contractor is finished providing services or labor. With a longer lead time, the subcontractor entitled to a mechanic’s lien can wait until he gets stiffed by the contractor before he puts a lien on the real estate.
I expect that this legislation reflects a policy decision that says we’d rather that residential home owners not have to mess with too much of that sort of nonsense.